Letter to the Editor

Matt Fernald ’13 writes regarding Keefe Campus Center space re-allocation and the AAS poll sent to students on Wednesday, November 27.

A lot has been discussed regarding the results of last week’s AAS poll. Here’s my take:

I don’t think anyone disagrees that the MRC and the WC need to emerge from the eerie shadows of the basement and find more prominent spaces, but there is much disagreement on how it is to be done. Should we move the game room? The CCE? Two-thirds of a mere 600 or so voted to leave the game room right where it is. To be honest, though I didn’t vote along those lines, I accept their view. Both sides are valid, are they not?

The downside of diversity is that it can serve to divide us as much as it can serve to enrich our lives: Black or white? Rich or poor? Liberal or conservative? In this case, it becomes a question of “Game Room vs. MRC” when the answer should be “both”, as it has been and always will be the answer in all questions relating to diversity. The problem is that our campus center doesn’t allow for the answer to be “both”, and this is proving itself to be a serious problem.

What do we gather from the results of the AAS poll? It’s clear to me that no matter how we try to reshuffle Keefe, at least 33% of students will be unhappy. While some people seem to think these results give them cause to paste labels on the student body and other entities, I think the only definitive conclusion that can be drawn from this poll is that we desperately need a new campus center.

Some real talk: Schwemm’s has too much space, the Game Room has too little, the MRC and the WC have next to nothing, there’s no bathroom on the ground floor, the only drinking fountain is tucked in a corner of Schwemm’s, the mail room is in a more prominent space than the Friedmann Room, the MRC and the WC… the list goes on and on. What this college needs — on a moral, ethical, logical and reasonable basis — is a campus center that can house all of these extremely important institutions in prominent places.

They wouldn’t even have to be on the first floor. Another problem with Keefe is the utter invisibility of the second floor and basement. The simple addition of conspicuous signs to direct you upstairs to the Friedmann Room and the new MRC or WC spaces, or downstairs to Flics, would make a huge difference in the unity of the building. Signs say, “Look there’s something interesting/important here!” Keefe currently says the opposite.

This issue is not new. Keefe is easily the most complained about building on campus — apart from Val, that is. Val, however, by most measures, is adequate; Keefe, we’re realizing, is not. So, let’s get a new campus center. Soon.